Weekly Message to the Physics Community, Monday, January 3, 2021

Dear Physics Community,

Welcome to 2021!  We’re starting the year with an MIT News story on Prof. Kerstin Perez.

Other news is the Omicron variant, Deer Island tells the story.  Our five IAP subjects will all be remote, but MIT will be open for in-person lab work and some events, subject to increased COVID protocols, here. Good luck to all of us.

Update: Did a meteor explode over Pittsburgh?

During this IAP, please try out the Basic Service Pilot, subMIT, to access High Performance Computing, see the announcement below.  The Department will have to decide how to implement the Basic Service this term and user experience will subMIT will be important.  Please try it out and tell us what you think.


Above the Fold

  • High Performance Computing for Physics – The recently inaugurated subMIT computing facility is a login pool that is designed to provide access to the basic research computing resources of the physics department and beyond.We would like to invite members of the physics department and their friends to take note and consider our offer to help to get set up and start attacking your hardest computing challenges. We are collecting input for problems for our one-day workshop on January 26, 2022 [1] and hope you will register for this workshop [2]. The agenda is for still wide open and will fill up during the first week of January.The workshop will present a number of in depth examples of more experienced users and includes detailed explanation and discussion of applications of new or simply interested users. If you have a specific computing intensive task you want to resolve even on the time scale of the workshop or if you are interested to purchase hardware and include it into the existing system, please send an email to <submit-help@mit.edu>.[1] workshop coordinates https://indico.cern.ch/event/1108229/
    [2] registration at https://indico.cern.ch/event/1108229/registrations/


  • DOE NNSA SSGF Applications Due 1/5/2022 – here
  • IAP subject in High Performance Computing here
  • Simons fopoundation grants in Mathematics and Physical Sciences here
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Launching Early-Career Academic Pathways in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (LEAPS-MPS) NSF 22-503 here


  • Sensor based on quantum physics could detect SARS-CoV-2 virus from Paola Cappallero here
  • “Newer, nimbler, faster:” Venus probe will search for signs of life in clouds of sulfuric acid from Sara Seager here.
  • Could acid-neutralizing life-forms make habitable pockets in Venus’ clouds? Sara Seager –  news story, website
  • Quanta has a couple of interesting graphic explanations of recent science stories from Ph.D. ComicsL g-2 explained here and Solar Parker Probe here.
  • Fusion’s time may be nearing here